Perhaps, the most important document exchanged during Pennsylvania residential property transactions is the deed to the property itself. The deed is what gives the new owner the legal right to do what he or she wishes with the land, as no one can be handed a piece of land like one would give somebody an article of clothing or even a car.
Philadelphia's housing inventory, that is, the number of properties available for sale, is notably low right now, and it means that sellers are getting multiple offers on homes even days after they go on the market. Buyers are having to offer above list price and have also been willing to make important concession in their real estate contracts, such as agreeing to be bound by a sale even if an appraisal suggests they are paying too much.
A previous post here discussed Pennsylvania's Seller Disclosure Law and how that law changes the traditional doctrine of "caveat emptor," or let the buyer beware. A seller not only has to be truthful in what he or she does say about a home or other residential property, the seller also has a duty to report certain material defects.
Although slipping a bit from the number two spot last year, a recent report prepared by a website specializing in personal finance found Philadelphia to be one of the top ten most "undervalued" cities in the country, coming in at number eight. In the survey, an "undervalued" city is one in which a person buying a home in that city will likely get more out of their real estate investment in the city than the are likely to put in.
Many residents of Philadelphia have probably heard the phrase "caveat emptor," a legal doctrine that basically means "let the buyer beware." The doctrine, which traditionally applied to almost all purchases, including purchases of a new home, means it is the buyer's responsibility to check out property before they sign an agreement and pay money for it.
An examination of a title may be something buyers and sellers have heard about doing, but it is also something they wonder about pertaining to the details of the process. A title examination is one of the most important aspects of a real estate transaction and can be essential to a successful transaction when purchasing real estate. Title examinations, in general, assure that the property being purchased is suitable for sale. The process looks for encumbrances on the property, which may not make it suitable to sell or may otherwise impact the transaction.
Purchasing a home is typically a significant transaction in the lives of home buyers which is also true when homeowners are selling a home. There are a variety of important steps in the residential home buying or home-selling process. It is helpful for home buyers or sellers to be as familiar as possible with the elements and legal requirements of the process which can help ensure a smooth experience and successful transaction.
Anyone who has bought a home in Philadelphia and borrowed a portion of the purchase price from a bank or other lender in the last forty years has been required to purchase something called "title insurance." The premium for the title insurance policy is generally one of the smaller expenses paid by the buyer at closing, and most people pay it without asking too many questions. In this post, we want to review the role of title insurance in a residential real estate transaction and help home buyers understand what it is and how it works.
Losing the family home to foreclosure is a nightmare that still haunts many middle and lower class families in Philadelphia. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, banks scrambled to clear their books of questionable residential real estate loans by aggressively foreclosing on loans that were delinquent. While the acute crisis of 2008 has passed, people who have lost their jobs or incurred unexpected expenses such as large medical bills are still struggling to make their regular monthly mortgage payments. A notice of foreclosure can arrive out of the blue, and with it, a feeling of utter helplessness.
Buying or building a new home can be the fulfillment of a dream if the house is soundly built and free from defects. A newly built house can also be the beginning of a nightmare if the builder made mistakes or took shortcuts that affect the quality of the construction. Pennsylvania does not have a statute that requires contractors to extend specific warranties concerning the condition of new residential real estate construction. Instead, buyers must rely upon on common law warranties - that is, warranties created by courts in lawsuits based on construction defects - or upon any express warranties extended by the builder or by a home warranty company.